"Ryan is a high Draft pick from an excellent college program, and we really like his bat," Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "He has a real chance to contribute at the Major League level this season."
Flaherty, 25, is a career .278 Minor League hitter in four seasons in the Cubs' organization after being selected out of Vanderbilt by Chicago with the 41st overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. The left-handed hitter batted .280 with 53 extra-base hits and 88 RBIs in 132 games this season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
Duquette said Flaherty is very similar to recent free-agent signee Matt Antonelli. Baltimore will use him primarily at third and to support its depth at second base, a position that has some uncertainty given the health of veteran Brian Roberts.
The Orioles also selected left-handed pitcher Andrew Loomis from the Phillies' Double-A Reading roster during the Triple-A phase of the Draft. Baltimore picked infielder Matt Sweeney, a Gaithersburg, Md., native, from Tampa Bay's Class A roster in the Double-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
A team that selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft pays $50,000 to the team from which he was selected. The receiving team must then keep the player on their 25-man roster for the entirety of the next season, and the selected player must remain active for a minimum of 90 days. If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he is offered back to the team from which he was selected for $25,000. If his original team declines, the receiving team may waive the player.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.